Author Topic: Irish Composers  (Read 7844 times)

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Offline Christo

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Re: Irish Composers
« Reply #20 on: January 28, 2012, 11:53:09 PM »
(relatively unmusical) liked it at once :)

Enough, enough.  ;) We got the hint, don't we?  ;D
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Offline Lethevich

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Re: Irish Composers
« Reply #21 on: January 29, 2012, 12:56:17 AM »
It's not really the surface that bothers me, I suppose, but the motivations underlaying it. I like messing around if it feels good natured, but yesterday felt that the issue in question was coming from somewhere else - I'm probably wrong, though.
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Offline vandermolen

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Re: Irish Composers
« Reply #22 on: January 29, 2012, 01:39:12 AM »
Here's the possible clincher for both of you ;D

I was playing the Bodley tonight when a friend dropped in for a coffee. He said "sounds like Braga Santos to me" ;D ;D

Now, I don't really think it does....more gorgeous folk-melody with Waltonian exuberance but it showed me that he (relatively unmusical) liked it at once :)

Already ordered  ;D
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Offline Lethevich

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Re: Irish Composers
« Reply #23 on: January 29, 2012, 01:54:08 AM »
I was also ridiculously tempted by that disc, but managed to add it to my wishlist rather than buy.
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Offline some guy

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Re: Irish Composers
« Reply #24 on: January 29, 2012, 08:13:50 AM »
Well, it did start out fairly light-hearted, I thought, but someone took it personally.

...recommending harsh sounding electroacoustic music to people wanting something "uplifting" knowing that they very likely won't agree.
This is what it's all about, though, isn't it? Who gets to decide.

The great internet forum battle: who gets to decide, for instance, what kinds of things "uplifting" can cover. And what kinds of things "harsh." Which Irish composers we can or cannot discuss.

Only thing is, for you the battle is over, isn't it? It's over, and you've won. It's you who gets to decide. "Uplifting" covers only these things here, nothing else. I lost, and you won. And it's kinda embarrassing when I mention those other things over there. I'm supposed to know that. I'm supposed to know what's appropriate and what's not. I'm supposed to play by Lethe's rules. (Or whomever; it's of course not just you.)

And so it goes. A thread on Irish composers is really a thread on certain Irish composers only, as you confirmed.

It's a thread on Irish composers that people want to talk about.
Whoosh. Just lost my personhood, there. Didja see that? Whoosh. Gone.

Well, have it yer way, Lethe. This is the way the world is. You win. I lose. You get to decide what's what, and I get to obey.

I'm not really the obeying type, though. :P

Offline Lethevich

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Re: Irish Composers
« Reply #25 on: January 29, 2012, 04:43:03 PM »
This is the way the world is. You win. I lose.

A shame, because this is exactly how I read the sentiment in much of your posts - it seems that we just cannot find a middle ground. I hoped to better explain my POV but evidently it wasn't digestable, sorry. Good day!
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Offline Lethevich

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Re: Irish Composers
« Reply #26 on: February 01, 2012, 04:55:54 PM »
Ahh, several tempting items there. Despite Vandermolen mentioning him a lot, I have yet to hear Kinsela.
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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Irish Composers
« Reply #27 on: February 01, 2012, 05:05:55 PM »
Despite Vandermolen mentioning him a lot, I have yet to hear Kinsela.

I bought the Kinsella recording Vandermolen praises, but I have yet to make any kind of connection with the music. It's not distinctive enough for me. I like composers with big musical personalities.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2012, 05:27:22 PM by Mirror Image »
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Offline vandermolen

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Re: Irish Composers
« Reply #28 on: February 04, 2012, 01:55:13 AM »
I bought the Kinsella recording Vandermolen praises, but I have yet to make any kind of connection with the music. It's not distinctive enough for me. I like composers with big musical personalities.

Sorry to hear that. Was that the Marco Polo or RTE CD? The Marco Polo is the place to start I think. I did take a while to 'get into' these works but I greatly admire all the Kinsella symphonies that I have heard. No 3 is probably my favourite.
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Offline UB

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Re: Irish Composers
« Reply #29 on: February 04, 2012, 11:10:14 AM »
First let me thank everyone for getting me interested enough to spend part of a couple of days listening to Irish composers. None of those already discussed here will ever be high on my list of composers but some I found more interesting to me than others:

Kinsella - nice music but after listing to the two symphonies I did not want to dig deeper. I can certainly understand why people do enjoy his music, I am just not one of them.

Bodley - An interesting composer that I may investigate more. I listened to three symphonies and his music for strings. I was not impressed by his 2nd symphony, 4 was better and there were parts of 5 that I actually listened to twice. I would like to hear something that he has written in the last 5 years or so if there is anything.

Mulvey - Two early works and the YouTube was all I could find of her work. I thought the earlier works held some promise that I did not find in the YouTube work. I did not see how the tape did anything for the piece but did enjoy some of the cello playing. Too bad there is not more of her work to hear but none of my friends had heard of her so they had no music to share.

Corcoran - I bought his symphony CD many years ago and listened once but was not impressed. This time I listened to them, Ice, and five pieces written from 2003-04. I went back to the symphonies a second time and found parts that held my interest and wished that the ideas had been expanded.

I found that I enjoyed his music for single or a small group of instruments worked better for me than the ones where he used large ensembles or orchestras. Maybe my brain just could not process everything that was going on but since I do not a problem with some of Birtwistle's works that have four or five layers of interaction going on at once, I think it may be that I just do not get what Corcoran is trying to express.

I also found one of his CDs on Amazon for $1 and got Mad Sweeney, etc. The winner for me was his Music of Kells, the one I liked least was his Wind Quintet. Of those I have heard his 2004 Variations on 'A Mharin de Bharra' is my favorite. I am going to look for more of his recent works. Hopefully they will turn up on R3.

After this I explored a couple of other Irish composers...well one Irish composer and a South African that the Irish have claimed and visa versa.

Kevin Volans - South Africa/Ireland started as a minimalist and seems to have expanded much like Adams into having more to say and saying it well. There is quite a bit on YouTube so you can judge for yourself if he is for you or not. I suggest his first and second piano concerto, cello concerto and some of his string quartets for starters. If you like anything you hear there is lots of recordings of his music. He kind of bridges the gap between the music of Kinsella and Corcoran but may not work for the lovers of either group.

Ian Wilson
- My favorite Irish composer - well at least living composer - Unfortunately there is not a lot his music available at a reasonable price but he does come up on R3 at regular intervals it seems. If you get a chance listen to his The Book of Ways, 5th String Quartet, and Winters Edge.

Thanks again for this discussion...
I am not in the entertainment business. Harrison Birtwistle 2010

Offline Lethevich

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Re: Irish Composers
« Reply #30 on: February 04, 2012, 05:59:40 PM »
I didn't realise Volans had any associations here. I haven't heard much by him, but his writing for string quartet is super, not so sure about his second piano concerto - it frequently sounds beautiful but its continual tension makes me feel like I'm being shaken inside a washing machine or something :)
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Offline lescamil

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Re: Irish Composers
« Reply #31 on: February 04, 2012, 08:10:31 PM »
I was at the world premiere of the Volans second piano concerto. I think it is an amazing work that is a wonderful set of contrasts, and it has some amazing harmony, particularly in the slow sections. I felt like I was watching a high wire act in a circus when I saw it. A lot of the piano configurations are amazingly difficult (I've tried and failed a few while reading through the score). The sense of a journey across the Atlantic (which is the program of the work) is evident in the piece, especially with the amazing arrival at the end. Volans also has some other really good works for smaller ensembles, in particularly the string quartets and the original version of White Man Sleeps, a personal favorite of mine, which is for two harpsichords tuned to an African scale, percussion, and viola da gamba (!).
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Offline Christo

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Re: Irish Composers
« Reply #32 on: February 04, 2012, 11:35:07 PM »
in particularly the string quartets and the original version of White Man Sleeps, a personal favorite of mine, which is for two harpsichords tuned to an African scale, percussion, and viola da gamba (!).

Ah, the Kronos Quartet. Thanks for reminding, I took it from the shelves~!  ;D
… music is not only an `entertainment’, nor a mere luxury, but a necessity of the spiritual if not of the physical life, an opening of those magic casements through which we can catch a glimpse of that country where ultimate reality will be found.    RVW, 1948

Offline Lethevich

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Re: Irish Composers
« Reply #33 on: March 01, 2012, 09:19:56 PM »
A future release that looks curious:



The composer is only known for a handfull of orchestral works, which I don't like as much as I should, but it will be nice to hear another side of his music.
Peanut butter, flour and sugar do not make cookies. They make FIRE.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Irish Composers
« Reply #34 on: March 04, 2012, 02:13:55 AM »
First let me thank everyone for getting me interested enough to spend part of a couple of days listening to Irish composers. None of those already discussed here will ever be high on my list of composers but some I found more interesting to me than others:

Kinsella - nice music but after listing to the two symphonies I did not want to dig deeper. I can certainly understand why people do enjoy his music, I am just not one of them.

Bodley - An interesting composer that I may investigate more. I listened to three symphonies and his music for strings. I was not impressed by his 2nd symphony, 4 was better and there were parts of 5 that I actually listened to twice. I would like to hear something that he has written in the last 5 years or so if there is anything.

Mulvey - Two early works and the YouTube was all I could find of her work. I thought the earlier works held some promise that I did not find in the YouTube work. I did not see how the tape did anything for the piece but did enjoy some of the cello playing. Too bad there is not more of her work to hear but none of my friends had heard of her so they had no music to share.

Corcoran - I bought his symphony CD many years ago and listened once but was not impressed. This time I listened to them, Ice, and five pieces written from 2003-04. I went back to the symphonies a second time and found parts that held my interest and wished that the ideas had been expanded.

I found that I enjoyed his music for single or a small group of instruments worked better for me than the ones where he used large ensembles or orchestras. Maybe my brain just could not process everything that was going on but since I do not a problem with some of Birtwistle's works that have four or five layers of interaction going on at once, I think it may be that I just do not get what Corcoran is trying to express.

I also found one of his CDs on Amazon for $1 and got Mad Sweeney, etc. The winner for me was his Music of Kells, the one I liked least was his Wind Quintet. Of those I have heard his 2004 Variations on 'A Mharin de Bharra' is my favorite. I am going to look for more of his recent works. Hopefully they will turn up on R3.

After this I explored a couple of other Irish composers...well one Irish composer and a South African that the Irish have claimed and visa versa.

Kevin Volans - South Africa/Ireland started as a minimalist and seems to have expanded much like Adams into having more to say and saying it well. There is quite a bit on YouTube so you can judge for yourself if he is for you or not. I suggest his first and second piano concerto, cello concerto and some of his string quartets for starters. If you like anything you hear there is lots of recordings of his music. He kind of bridges the gap between the music of Kinsella and Corcoran but may not work for the lovers of either group.

Ian Wilson
- My favorite Irish composer - well at least living composer - Unfortunately there is not a lot his music available at a reasonable price but he does come up on R3 at regular intervals it seems. If you get a chance listen to his The Book of Ways, 5th String Quartet, and Winters Edge.

Thanks again for this discussion...

What about Archibald Potter (A.J. Potter 1918-80) whose Sinfonia De Profundis is a great work - a bit in the spirit of his teacher Vaughan Williams's Symphony No 6? My other big recommendation is Padraig O'Connor's 'Introspect' which is a hauntingly beautiful, dreamy work of 7 minutes. It is on 'Romantic Ireland' (Marco Polo). MDT has a big Marco Polo sale on and they are selling them dirt cheap but I'm not sure if these titles are included.
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Offline UB

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Re: Irish Composers
« Reply #35 on: March 04, 2012, 05:28:32 AM »
Never heard of either of those composers and I can not find any bio of Padraig O'Connor on the web. Even Naxos does not have one on their site. The only thing I could find was that he was born in 1942.  Does the CD booklet say anything about him and what else he has written besides the 7 minutes you enjoy? I find it very hard to make any judgement about any composer if I do not at least a half dozen works to listen to. However you can of course like a piece of music even if you have no knowledge about the composer.
I am not in the entertainment business. Harrison Birtwistle 2010

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Irish Composers
« Reply #36 on: March 04, 2012, 06:29:03 AM »
Have you investigated A.J. Potter's Symphony No.2 yet, Jeffrey?

Available for download :)

You would like it ;D ;D

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Irish Composers
« Reply #37 on: March 04, 2012, 07:16:42 AM »
Have you investigated A.J. Potter's Symphony No.2 yet, Jeffrey?

Available for download :)

You would like it ;D ;D

Thanks Colin - I'm sure I would  :) However, my download attempts often go horribly wrong.  :o
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Offline vandermolen

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Re: Irish Composers
« Reply #38 on: March 04, 2012, 07:22:48 AM »
Never heard of either of those composers and I can not find any bio of Padraig O'Connor on the web. Even Naxos does not have one on their site. The only thing I could find was that he was born in 1942.  Does the CD booklet say anything about him and what else he has written besides the 7 minutes you enjoy? I find it very hard to make any judgement about any composer if I do not at least a half dozen works to listen to. However you can of course like a piece of music even if you have no knowledge about the composer.

The booklet notes say that he is/was principal viola player in the RTE Sinfonietta.  'Introspect' was written in 1978 - a restrained meditation. It was originally a bridge passage in a piano sonata - it was devised to present a seamless reflection on things past and was first performed in 1992. Look out for Potter's Sinfonia 'De Profundis' - a fine, dramatic work, written in thankfulness 'for deliverance from despair and great trouble'.
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Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Irish Composers
« Reply #39 on: March 04, 2012, 07:43:21 AM »
Thanks Colin - I'm sure I would  :) However, my download attempts often go horribly wrong.  :o

Let me know why and I shall try to help :)

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